We were delighted to be asked by the organisers of the CRE to host a contained stream within the Exhibition on the theme of Messy Church last week. I have to be honest and admit that I had no idea how it would work out and pictured the team miserably twiddling their thumbs in a large, echoing, empty hall. But no – we had well over 100 people signed up to come and well over 100 came and stayed for the whole day!
I was particularly pleased to be working in a wider team: we had Barnabas Team members, regional coordinators from across the south, the Portsmouth Diocesan Youth and Children’s Adviser Ben Mizen, the media officer from Fresh Expressions, Karen Carter, David Collins from Infinite Crafts and several Messy Church leaders who came to share their experience most generously.
It was a packed day and we left everyone crying out for more – I liked the feedback which asked for more resources to be on sale… I wonder if she hadn’t looked downstairs at the several hundred stalls desperate to share resources with her.
Many people wanted to do more than the two discussion group slots which were all we had the time for, so the leaders have generously shared their notes. And I include the feedback, as it shows what people recognise in Messy Church: an enthusiasm, an excitement, a gratitude to God and to BRF, a sense of permission and ‘can do-ness’.